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Two Tips for Easy, No-Bake Gingerbread Houses

So I know I suggested decorating ginger bread men in lieu of gingerbread houses in this year’s 24 family Advent activities. But then my mother-in-law decided she wanted to host a family gingerbread house party the day after Thanksgiving and she kind of changed my mind about the difficulty of making gingerbread houses – with two very clever tricks.

Wanna know what they were?  Read on for all the details…

Trick #1 – Skip the hassle of baking and use graham crackers instead.  It’s so much easier!

Trick #2 – Hot glue the houses together, then hide it with frosting.  No one will know the difference and glue will ensure a sturdy, frustration free house.

With these two tips you can easily whip up enough blank houses for an entire decorating party. Once you have your bases ready to go, all that’s left is for your guests to add some frosting and candy… lots and lots of candy!

The kids loved putting together their houses (as did their parents and grandparents).  I wouldn’t be surprised if it became a day-after-Thanksgiving tradition.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina December 7, 2012 at 6:45 am

Love the hot glue gun tip! I’ve been trying to decide whether to make them with my five year old and was a bit intimidated. Thank you!


gina December 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

What kind of frosting did you use? Looks like regular cake frosting?


mpmk December 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Hi Gina,

My MIL made everything so I’m not positive but I believe she used royal icing (the kind that gets really hard when it dries) for holding the house together and more of a standard cake frosting for the decorating.



Debby December 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Yes, Royal icing and there are even tricks for that. You can use meringue powder or a little carton of pasteurized egg whites instead of fresh egg whites. Better when licking your fingers to get the frosting off!! (no salmonella)
Love, MIL


Becky - Clean Mama December 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

What a great idea to use a glue gun – so clever!
xo, Becky


Sally from Little Hiccups December 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I’m a little confused about the hot glue gun part – do you not eat your gingerbread house?
Eating it is the best bit! Our gingerbread house always gets pulled apart after Christmas lunch and the kids continue to eat it for about a week – unless I get to it first!
Most of my friends go to the effort of making the gingerbread themselves but I cheat and by the pre-made pieces. Last year’s gingerbread house was from Ikea (flat pack but not an allen key in sight!) and this year I’ve gone with the Trader Joe’s kit.
The trickiest part for me is trying to find the right candy to decorate with. I’m an Australian living in California and I just can’t find any of the candy that I consider “traditional” for a gingerbread house: mint leaves for the roof tiles, raspberries and liquorice all sorts for the sides… I’m guessing these are all either Australian or British candies that don’t exist here :(


mpmk December 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

No, we don’t eat ours – although the kids do sneak plenty of candy in the process of decorating :).


A Day in May Design December 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Not sure if I could use the hot glue gun – can’t resist eating the gingerbread house! But the graham cracker idea sure is handy :).


Shilpa December 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Love the idea of using graham cracker! But making such a lovely ones just to throw later is a pity:(


Dorrene December 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Melted sugar is a good glue to use on gingerbread houses; if you want to eat them. To make place about 1/2 cup of white sugar in a low pan over heat (electric skillet works well). Stir sugar constantly until it melts and turns clear. Quickly dip one side of the cracker into liquid then attach to connecting cracker. Hold for a few seconds while it cools. Hide sugar glue with frosting.


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